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Gregory Widen's 1995 film, THE PROPHECY, tells of a second Angelic war. The Archangel Gabriel, like Lucifer in the first war, fights an insurgency in Heaven designed to return the balance of creation to a time before man, when Angels loved were loved by Him above all else. Defending the Word of God and His WIll is the Archangel Michael, who fights to keep humanity's souls intact. Lucifer, still seething and watching from below dreads the notion of Gabriel's victory, as Lucifer cannot stand to see another Angel succeed where he had failed, but more importantly, does not want the competition.
Clive Barker's 1987 film, HELLRAISER, and its sequel, HELLBOUND: HELLRAISER II, introduced a new vision of Hell, where Hell is a dark Labyrinth of stone and order, presided over by a deity known as Leviathan. In service to Leviathan are a cadre of entities, known as Cenobites, who are considered "angels to some, demons to others. " Gateways to Hell can be opened by those obsessed, determined and/or worthy enough to solve certain mythical puzzles, like the infamous puzzle box, The Lament Configuration. Often, those before who have succeeded have done so for the reputed promise of infinite pain and infinite pleasure, indivisible, as promised by those who guard the puzzles.
However, those few who solve the puzzles often find themselves unprepared for the intensity of sensation offered by the Cenobites, and except in rare cases, are never seen again...
...at least not in their previous incarnations.
The Second Angelic War has begun, and Lucifer seeks to tip the scales of war in favor of Michael's forces, to maintain the status quo. Lucifer seeks to recruit the help of Leviathan and the Cenobites against Gabriel's forces. However, he cannot consult with them directly, as the Labyrinth is its own domain of Hell, separate from his. Enter Natasha, a theology student, who Lucifer extorts to solve the Lament Configuration for him... Neither are prepared for what happens next.
The events of the film occur an indeterminant amount of time after the "present day" segment of HELLRAISER: BLOODLINE, but before the events of HELLRAISER: DEADER.
The events are also after the events of THE PROPHECY, but before the events of THE PROPHECY 3: THE ASCENT.
As a fellow diehard fan of the HELLRAISER series, I've heard the screams of protest from many who have heard my ideas for the film, so I wanted to address the issues of continuity here and now...
"Clive Barker's mythology of Hell has NOTHING to do with the Hell of
2) "But how can there
be two regions in Hell? There's only ONE Hell!"
3) "The Hellraiser
Mythology has no God concept..."
4) "...nor a concept of
5) "...and therefore,
no concept of angels."
6) "Why doesn't Lucifer
just solve the box his damn self?"
7) "Where's Pinhead in this
movie? Whoever heard of a Hellraiser film without Pinhead?"
In the end, it's all a question of interpretation, and this film takes the interpretation that there is a heaven, with angels, and possibly a God. Judeo-Christian Hell also co-exists but a separate domain from the Labyrinth.
Ironically, this film is written and directed by a hardcore atheist.
IMAGE CREDITS FOR THIS PAGE
THE PROPHECY is available on DVD from Dimension Films. HELLRAISER and HELLBOUND: HELLRAISER II are available on DVD from Anchor Bay Entertainment. HELLRAISER III: HELL ON EARTH is available for DVD outside of the United States, but is available on VHS (out of print?) from Paramount Pictures.